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November 04, 2008

MAO Interview with Artist and Photographer Taiji Matsue (Part 1)

Today we have the first part of an interview with Japanese Artist and photographer, Taiji Matsue.

Some of you may have already seen Taiji's amazing new show, "Nest", up currently at the Cohen Amador Gallery on 57th street. If not.. you need to see this show ASAP!

Some of the smart MAO Photobook obsessed readers, may also know Taiji Matsue by his book Taiji Matsue, 2001 which was included in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger's The Photobook: A History, Part 1, and is frequently listed among the most "significant" Japanese Photography books.

Here's Part 1 of our MAO Matsue interview...

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Taiji_Matsue_JP_03 1. MAO : As a Japanese artist, you have been brought up in a rich culture of photography, which

Japanese artists have been your biggest inspirations? Which Non-Japanese Artists?

 

Matsue :  Within Japanese, it's Daido Moriyama. With, Non-Japanese they are Carleton Watkins and Lewis Baltz.

(Photo #1, Taiji Matsue, "JP-22 03" 2005, C Print)

 

2. MAO : Your photographic projects almost span the globe..your photographic body has included many urban, and well as several rural settings. What was your favorite location to work, and why?

 Matsue :  There is no favorite location in particular. My ideal is to homogenize the whole world, that's why.  In my opinion, artist's personal and private feeling against the location have no influence over spectators.

Taiji_Matsue_CHI_0254

3. MAO : Do you have a "Matsue" signature style to your photographic work, is this something you particularly strive for or is it more organic.. can you describe this "Matsue" look?

 

Matsue : The "Matsue" look ... I think this is what the spectators decide, not myself.

(Photo #2, Taiji Matsue, "CHI 0254" 2002, gelatin silver print)

4. MAO : For your last show in

New York City at the Cohen Amador Gallery in 2006, the New York Time's critic Benjamin Genocchio, described your work as ".....scientific precision that gives his pictures a diverting presence and analytic crispness. But there is little emotional engagement."

Do you agree with this analysis? Is this the type of reaction to your art you were looking to achieve? (FYI, here's a link to the Aug 11, 2006, NY Times review..click here)

Matsue : I agree with the half of it, but not all of them. I take the photo by feeling a passion for "sunlit" surface of the earth. That gives the scientific precision to my works. 

 

Taiji_Matsue_BJX_41115 (Photo #3, Taiji Matsue, "BJX 41115" 2008, C Print)

 

5. MAO : Many purist, "old world art photographers," regard the use of Photoshop as almost cheating.   Can you tell us how and why you use Adobe Photoshop in your work?


Matsue : Denying the use of Photoshop for digital photographs means the same thing as denying the darkroom for analog photographs. Contradicting digital photography is nonsense. It's just nostalgia for the good old days, I think.

 

Note : All Taiji Matsue photos courtesy of  TARO NASU and Cohen Amador Gallery.

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Hey MAO..
Thanks for pointing this photographer out.

Not many US galleries take the risk of showing Japanese photography, so we almost never get to see these artists work... and that last Japanese Photography show at ICP was so damn feeble!!

I'll be sure to check this one out!
Thanks


Matsue : Denying the use of Photoshop for digital photographs means the same thing as denying the darkroom for analog photographs. Contradicting digital photography is nonsense. It's just nostalgia for the good old days, I think.

well said! i believe beate gutschow has proven matsue correct ; )

i like this work.

I disagree that the ICP show was feeble...I loved it, but I do agree that we should be seeing more Japanese photography. One gallery that consistently includes a Japanese influence and presence is Project Basho in Philadelphia. Well worth checking out.

http://www.projectbasho.org/index2.html

this is a great site about MAO Interview with Artist and Photographer Taiji Matsue, everything in here is wonderful. Great!! just that wonderful congratulations for your blog!

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